C.J. Wilson pitched like a $77 million player today, and he held the New York Yankees to one run on six hits in six excellent innings of work. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson led off the game with singles, but he retired Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira in order to escape the threat. Other than an Andruw Jones RBI single in a similar situation in the fifth, that was it for the offense against Wilson. He struck out Cano twice and stranded nine runners on the bases throughout the day. The potential for these performances was why the Angels signed Wilson, and he certainly earned his money today. Kevin Jepsen, LaTroy Hawkins (somehow), and Jordan Walden provided three innings of scoreless relief to clinch the win.
On the other side, Phil Hughes put up some nice numbers, but overall, did not impress in his second start of the season. He struck out six Angels, but he also continued to show an inability to put hitters away as he threw 84 pitches in only 3 1/3 innings of work. He gave up two home runs--a Chris Iannetta two-run homer in the second that was a Yankee Stadium special, and a three-run bomb by Howie Kendrick. The Kendrick hit was an absolute meatball pitch, a cutter that did not move much. That was Hughes's last batter, as he exited with the Yankees in a 6-0 hole. He received a bad break because on the previous at bat, Teixeira botched a potential double play ball at first that could have ended the inning. Alas, the pitch still happened, and although the curveball looked good today, the fastball and cutter were not doing much. It wasn't an outing that was wonderful to watch.
Fortunately, David Phelps provided the Yankees' lone bright spot of the day, as he kept the team in the game after the early deficit. He gave up a solo homer to Vernon Wells (the 250th of Wells's career), but he was otherwise flawless, save for two walks. Phelps struck out four in 5 1/3 innings and left to a very nice ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd with two outs in the ninth inning. He was easily the team's player of the game, and he has impressed all fans with his great pitching early in the season. Let's hope he can keep up the good work and be rewarded by keeping his place on the roster.
The Yankees' record dropped to 4-4, and they will look to take the series tomorrow night instead as Ivan Nova looks to handle the Halos. Sadly, it will be on ESPN. Speaking of similar national networks....
Comment of the Game: mikefromnbny on Tim McCarver's psychic abilities